. China News .

Two more Tibetans in China self-immolate: reports
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 20, 2012

Two more Tibetans in China have burned themselves to death, state media and a rights group reported Tuesday, part of a wave of protests against Chinese rule.

China's official Xinhua news agency said that two herdsmen self-immolated in northwestern Chinese provinces.

Tsering Dongdri, 35, set himself on fire close to a remote gold mine in Gansu province on Tuesday, the report said, adding an investigation was underway.

Another herdsman, 25, died after setting himself on fire late Monday inside the home of his brother, a Buddhist monk, in Qinghai province, Xinhua said.

US-based Tibetan rights group International Campaign for Tibet, meanwhile, also reported two self-immolations for the same days and provinces.

It said that a farmer and nomad named Tsering Dundrup, who it described as being in his 30s, self-immolated Tuesday in Gansu, while Wangchen Norbu, 25, died after setting himself on fire late Monday.

Though some details differed, the times, dates and locations strongly suggest they were the same incidents reported by Xinhua.

Many Tibetans in China accuse the government of religious repression and eroding their culture, as the country's majority Han ethnic group increasingly moves into historically Tibetan areas.

China rejects this, saying Tibetans enjoy religious freedom. Beijing points to huge ongoing investment it says has brought modernisation and a better standard of living to Tibet.

The Tibetan government-in-exile says 76 people have set themselves on fire since 2009, of whom 62 have died. Those figures were released before the latest reported self-immolations.

China police hold car protest sticker printer
Beijing (AFP) Nov 21, 2012 - Police in southern China have detained a car owner for online attempts to organise a campaign against rising licence fees, state press said Wednesday in a sign of official concern over potential unrest.

The owner, publicly identified only by an online name, hoped for 100 cars to parade around Yangjiang in Guangdong province after the city proposed a 400 yuan ($65) annual fee for vehicles with up to nine seats, reports said.

The driver printed bumper stickers depicting a clenched fist and reading: "To hell with the annual fee" and "Say No to corruption!", the state-owned Global Times said, and was detained by the authorities.

But no protest took place and the detention has raised concerns among lawyers, who say it was not legal, while social media commenters have raised fears over curbs on civil liberties.

"The car owner shouldn't be detained as there was no parade or gathering," the paper quoted Xie Jiajun, a lawyer in Guangdong, as saying.

Police in Yangjiang refused to comment on the case when contacted by AFP.

The car licence fee has yet to be approved or implemented.

The Nanfang Rural News identified the car owner as Zhu Fu 4321, and said the detention was for "inciting and planning illegal gatherings, protests marches and demonstrations and refusing to listen to warnings".

It added that Zhu Fu 4321's protest call came in late October, when police nationwide were on alert to quash all unrest ahead of last week's Communist Party congress that saw the start of a once-in-a-decade leadership handover.

Social unrest is anathema to the ruling party but academics estimate China saw 180,000 protests last year over a wide range of issues including corruption, government-backed land grabs, police brutality and food safety.


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